From Tresco to Lindisfarne, Anglesey to Sark, travel around the British Isles and discover the most beautiful and extreme island gardens on this visually stunning tour.
The British Isles consist of more than 6,000 islands scattered around the main islands of Britain and Ireland. More than 100 of these British off-shore islands are inhabited - and where there are people, there are gardens. Lighthouse gardens, gulf-stream-soaked, tropical gardens, windswept remote gardens with giant and ancient yew trees, and gardens surrounding castles and monasteries of historical significance. Encounter a huge variety of habitats and gardening conditions, from coastal machair to woodlands, mountains, dunes and meadows, and explore a wide range of aspects, from shady dells, to sunny banks, deep-soiled productive gardens to rocky, alpine slopes. While they can differ dramatically with regards to aesthetics, what all island gardens share is the special light, magical atmosphere and indefinable magic that a proximity to water can bring. Here, Jackie Bennett reveals the challenges their gardeners face, the designs required in such extremes, and the skills their gardeners have mastered to survive and thrive, accompanied by stunning photography by garden and drone photographer Richard Hanson.
Jackie Bennett is a former editor of The Garden Design Journal, the English Garden Magazine and Gardening with the National Trust. She began her career in television, producing gardening and natural history programmes before become a full time writer. In 1990, she won an award for nature writing in the BBC Wildlife Magazine Awards and her books include The Wildlife Garden Month by Month (David & Charles 1990 - reissued in 2011), The Cottage Garden and Wild About the Garden (1997 a Channel 4 tie-in book for the TV series presented by Carol Klein). She won the Garden Writer's Guild Gardening Column of the Year 2009 for a series about her own Norfolk garden. Jackie has studied garden design and landscape history. She runs writing workshops for the Society of Garden Designers and for the Cambridge and Oxford Botanic Gardens.
Richard Hanson's work has appeared in books and magazines and he has photographed in the gardens of well-known garden writers such as Helen Yemm, Ursula Buchan, Francine Raymond and Ronald Blythe. His photography has been featured in The Garden Design Journal, and Gardening with the National Trust.